Callas as Fiorilla and Kundry

Richard Wagner’s Parsifal had its world premiere in Bayreuth on 26 July 1882, 129 years ago.

The earlier incarnation of this blog featured Callas in Wagner’s Parsifal and Tristan und Isolde. Today’s clever YouTube clip juxtaposes two performances that Callas gave in Rome in 1950, as Fiorilla in Rossini’s Il turco in Italia and Kundry in Parsifal.

Try to imagine in our times, say, Waltraud Meier as Fiorilla and Cecilia Bartoli as Kundry. Reflect, too, that Meier has been singing for thirty-four years and Bartoli for twenty-four—whereas Callas’s “big” career, as she called it, lasted from 1947 until 1965, a scant eighteen years.

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